Health care and concession cards enable eligible Australians to access health care services and medicines at a reduced rate.
Health Care Card
The Health Care Card is automatically issued to people receiving a social security allowance or benefit, to those receiving the maximum rate of FTB(A) paid by instalment, to some NDIS recipients, and to those receiving Carer Allowance for a child with a disability.
Parents who have a child with a disability who do not receive the Carer Allowance may be issued with a Health Care Card subject to less stringent disability-related criteria.
Low-income individuals and families are issued with a low-income Health Care Card if their weekly income does not exceed the set threshold. Income is assessed over eight weeks prior to the claim. They will need to make a claim, and once assessed as eligible their income can increase by up to 25 per cent above the threshold before the card will be cancelled. Residence rules apply.
Pensioners whose payments were cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of changes to the pension assets test – and who are too young to receive the Age Pension – are eligible to claim the low-income Health Care Card.
The Pensioner Concession Card may entitle eligible recipients to access hearing services, bulk billing, and reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The Pensioner Concession Card is automatically issued to people receiving a pension (including PP (single)) from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
People aged over 60 who have been receiving the Newstart Allowance, PP (partnered), Sickness Allowance, or the Special Benefit for at least nine months are also entitled to the Pensioner Concession Card.
Those who receive the Newstart Allowance, PP (partnered) or Youth Allowance (job seeker), and who are assessed as having a partial capacity to work or who are single principal carers of a dependent child, are also eligible for the Pensioner Concession Card.
People whose pension was cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of changes to the pension assets test – and who were sent a non-income tested low-income Health Care Card – regained their entitlement to the Pensioner Concession Card on 9 October 2017.
A person of Age Pension age who does not receive a pension may be entitled to the Seniors Health Card if their yearly income does not exceed $52,796 for singles, $84,472 for couples, or $105,592 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care, etc.